Here is one question that should be good for some text: you have written several books on the subject. What does a novice need to know about Odin?
Galina: Odin is a God of hunger, raw, unmitigated hunger. He is fierce and rarely accepts half-measures. Odin demands not only commitment but that we keep learning, keep growing, keep pushing forward, gaining more knowledge, more power, more alliances, more skill, more…of everything we treasure that might make us more useful to Him. He is about that hungry acquisition of knowledge and that is something with which He often infects His folk as well. He is also ecstasy, terror, ordeal, inspiration, and a thousand other things and these are the gifts that He brings in His wake.
I think that above all else, I would want the novice to know that his or her relationship with Odin, the manner in which he services, what Odin might ask of her could be, and very likely will be, completely different from what He asks of me, or any other Odin’s person. For all that Odin is an extremely utilitarian God, He values each of His people as individual resources and there is a uniqueness in each individual relationship that cannot be duplicated by another. If one can allow Him to guide the relationship, trust Him to do so in a way that is mutually beneficial then great things can happen. It’s so important, not just with Odin but with every Deity, not to try to twist the relationship into a mirror image of someone else’s.
That can be so hard too! It’s painfully easy in spiritual work to become envious of another person’s gifts, of their relationship with the Gods. When we do this, we’re ignoring our own gifts, and letting our own relationship with the Gods flounder. In serving Odin for close to twenty years, in watching others in relationships with Him, I have seen how He strips a person down, oh so close to breaking, and then slowly builds them back up again, remaking them, molding them, teaching them. It’s a terrifying and beautiful thing. It’s not assembly line work: He’s not making multiple copies. Each person He invests time in, develops in a way that is unique to that person. I think it’s important to really trust that process. You can’t, in the end, ride someone else’s spiritual coat-tails.
As to what else a novice should know, with Odin and with any of the Gods: the Gods are real, independent, individual Forces. They are not human. They are not manifestations of our unconscious. They are not solely occupied with making us feel good. They are not solely occupied with us. They are immense, ancient, incredibly powerful Beings. We share a connection and in some cases kinship with Them and that is a blessed thing, but even so: be respectful. One can never err with respect and courtesy. Understand that the way Odin, or any other Deity may come to you can be unique. It does not invalidate the way He might choose to come to someone else, and vice versa. Most of all, lore as we know it is a map, it’s not the territory. It’s really useful to know the difference.